Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and Miami’s Dwyane Wade are both NBA champions, NBA Finals MVPs and longtime ambassadors for the game of basketball.
And now, one more time, they’re All-Stars.
By special order of NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Wade and Nowitzki were added Friday to the pool of players for the All-Star Game that will be played in Charlotte on Feb. 17.
Wade, who is retiring after 16 seasons, will be an All-Star for the 13th time. Nowitzki is heading to the All-Star Game for the 14th time, and has yet to officially say if his 21st season will be his last.
Wade said he reached out to Silver to thank him for the gesture.
“I appreciated my fans for voting for me, but I didn’t want to be put in position to take a roster spot from someone who’s getting their first opportunity to go to the All-Star Game or their second or third,” Wade said. “I’ve had 12 chances at it. For the commissioner to create that opportunity for Dirk and myself, it’s cool. I appreciate it more getting in this way, so I’ll be there.”
Silver, in a statement released by the league, lauded what Nowitzki and Wade have meant to the game.
“Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade embody the best of the NBA: remarkable skill, drive and professionalism as well as a deep devotion to strengthening their communities and growing the game around the world,” Silver said. “As a global celebration of basketball, our All-Star Game is an ideal setting to salute these first-class NBA champions and Finals MVPs.”